Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Sad Fate of Six Cannoli...

They, like my blog, have been left to rot from neglect.

I brought a small box of them for my brother E., who placed them inside his work refrigerator and promptly forgot about them. Days later, the cannoli are clearly a lost cause, just a sodden mass of shells and cheese. No hope for them but fortunately my blog can still be rescued, it just may be a few days before I get back into the rhythm. Check back soon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Amsterdam Market Envy And A Homemade Butter Consolation Prize

Once again I missed the boat with the New Amsterdam Market at the South Street Seaport. Indeed the list of vendors there is impressive, from bakeries to butchers and chocolate in between, it sounds like a food lover's paradise. Unlike other markets, this one arrives sporadically, rather than weekly. As in the past, I had every intention of going but familial obligations took precedence and it was off for a late lunch at my mother-in-law's house.

On my way home, I read my friend D.'s account of her visit to the market and all of her spoils. From bacon at Fleisher's Meats to goat cheese from 1802 Beekman , D. made a careful selection of goods that convinced me not to miss the next market, which will fortunately take place on October 25, 2009.

It was a good thing I missed the market today for while D. was shopping her heart out, I was being treated to my second homemade meal of the week. This one prepared by my MIL J. and her husband T. There was lasagna, an incredible Shakespearean inspired salad made with almond butter and capers (two items I would never have imagined together), homemade bread and homemade butter prepared by her husband T., with apple pie for dessert. Izzy had a swell time playing with Hess trucks and putting together a Lego plane with his cousin. I brought home a fragrant bouquet of freshly clipped rosemary and bay leaves, along with Asian pears all collected from J.'s garden. Izzy helped gather the pears in a basket and a swell time was had by all.

And so I say, eat today, market tomorrow (or next month as the case may be).

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Keeping It Local For Labor Day Weekend...

That means...

Spending a lazy Saturday morning eating plenty of toast slathered with butter and jam, along with fresh cantaloupe from the Grove Street Farmer's Market. Petting purring kittens. Hanging the wash out on the line. Writing out birthday cards and gathering gifts to be mailed. Writing in Izzy's Cat Journal.

Walking to post letters only to discover it is too late. Stopping for a Cucumber-Lemonade from Ahymn Espresso Bar on Jersey Ave, so cool and refreshing. Sipping it outside and people-watching. Buying bagels for lunch from Wonder Bagels, across the street. Making another visit to the NEW TOY STORE in town, Jacks. We can't keep away from their fabulous assortment of perfect toys for all ages.

Meandering back home to eat bagels, cream cheese and avocado for lunch. Sitting on the stoop awaiting A.'s return from Europe. Gardening. Taming our backyard jungle. Weeding and mowing the grass.

Dining by candle-light overlooking the garden, on pasta, with a sauce made from plump ripe yellow and red tomatoes (csa), basil from our garden, garlic, fennel seeds and olive oil.

Feeling the air cooling down as the breeze blows through the screen door. Sweet dreams. Looking forward to another easy day tomorrow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chop, Blend, Fry, Eat: Tomato, Mozzarella, Beans, Pancetta, Pistou Salad

Tired of the same old tomatoes and mozzarella with basil? I certainly was and even Izzy began to groan each time I told him what we were having for dinner... yet again.

This version, inspired by The Smitten Kitchen, is made with white beans, pancetta and pistou (which is a puree of basil leaves, olive oil and salt).

Tomatoes and Mozzarella with a Twist

1. 4 large ripe tomatoes, red or yellow, chopped
2. 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
3. 1 can white beans, rinsed
4. 1/4 lb. pancetta, diced and fried or baked,
5. 3-4 tablespoons pistou (recipe to follow)
6. 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Toss first four ingredients in a large bowl. Then prepare pistou, see below.


1 cup basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 cup olive oil

Place first three ingredients in blender, add olive oil in a thin stream and puree until smooth. Or grind in mortar and pestle, which is the more traditional way to prepare this.

Drizzle pistou and balsamic vinegar on salad, add salt and pepper to taste, toss and serve.

Makes 4 generous servings.